Monday, December 05, 2005

to Mrs. Soldier

Today I needed to turn in some paperwork to HQ and to go to the uniform shop. I like to take care of official business in uniform. I don't like going in civvies (civilian clothes). Call it an old habit but when I was active duty it was just considered good manners to show up in uniform. I always found I got a better response from PSD or Personnel Support Detachment if I wasn't in civvies. The same has proven true of the Guard. So I wore my new spiffy ACU's when I went to the Post.

After I finished taking care of paperwork, I drove to my son's school to pick him up early. As I waited in the school's office I noticed a very young woman kept stealing glances at me. She finally realized that I had noticed and she looked at me with tear filled eyes. "My husband is in Iraq and he has that same uniform." She fought to control herself and continued "I have tried not looking at you because it reminds me so much of him. Not many people have the new uniform..." I asked gently; when he is coming home? May, was her answer. I said "Not long..." encouragingly. She smiled and said "No, not long. I can hang on until then." I asked if he was Guard and she replied yes.

We were interrupted as some of the office staff asked me about my son. The young girl had walked a few paces away. I fought to keep my composure as I called out to her and said "Excuse me, I just wanted to say 'thank you'. I know it is a big sacrifice on your part." I had to stop as I saw the tears well up in her eyes again. I am a big sap and had to look away but quickly added, "I appreciate you being strong and being there for your husband." She smiled a huge grin and said that not many people have told her that.

I have an assignment for you, Class. Find a wife or husband of a soldier (deployed or not) and tell them 'thanks'. We need to hear it. It keeps us strong and helps us to KNOW we *are* doing the right thing. Hug 'em and say thank you.

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